RJ Trees and Hedging delighted with UKISG accreditation

R J Trees and Hedging is delighted to announce that it is now accredited under the UKISG (UK and Ireland Sourced and Grown) plant biosecurity scheme which is a requirement of nurseries which supply the Woodland Trust, indeed it is a Woodland Trust-led initiative.

For many years the UK nursery network has imported vast quantities of trees, hedging plants and shrubs including all our native species.  It is commonly recognised that importing plant material carries the risk that we are importing pests and diseases which our established trees and young saplings may have no defence against (like Covid but for trees!).   There has been a significant rise in the incidence of serious pest and disease introductions into the UK since 1990 – coinciding with the increase in plant and tree imports from the EU and beyond.

The Woodland Trust website says that “The threat is so great that almost all of the native tree species in the UK have been affected by an introduced pest or disease in the last 30 years. The UK Plant Health Risk Register indicates that there are a further 127 high risk pests and diseases that would have a high impact to the UK’s woods and trees if they got into the country.

The UKISG scheme was set up to give accreditation to those nurseries who sow and grow plants here and all plants supplied by the Woodland Trust must come from UKISG accredited nurseries.

The scheme is very important to the work that is going on in the forestry and farming sectors to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 because not only do we need to plant tens thousands of hectares of new woodland every year, but we also need to replace all the trees affected by disease – the best example of this being Ash dieback which is likely to affect 150m mature trees and 2 billion (yes, you read that correctly) saplings and we know that diseased ash trees were being imported until 2012.

Terrifyingly, Oak trees are under threat from oak processionary moth which started in Northern Europe in the early 2000’s. 

Oak and Ash are used as examples because not only are they such prolific landscape features (oak is the third most common woodland broadleaf species) but also because the loss of significant numbers of these trees would have a dramatic affect on wildlife.  Oak support 326 insect species which cannot be supported by other tree species, and ash supports 44 insect species which cannot be supported by other species so if there is significant loss of oak on the same scale as ash trees, there will be an immense loss of biodiversity with consequences that we currently cannot predict.

So, the moral of the story is to use a plant nursery with UKISG accreditation, growing it’s own trees.  Minimise the risk, buy our Herefordshire sown and grown trees and hedging.

We are also accredited by Plant Healthy and have a separate blog on that topic and this is a link to our biosecurity page.

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